Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2013


Interview: Cathy Malmrose:
UEFI SecureBoot

Cathy Malmrose will give a talk about UEFI SecureBoot at FOSDEM 2013

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Cathy Malmrose, grew up near Microsoft, lived in France for a while, now working to build hardware for F/LOSS as the CEO of ZaReason.

Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

UEFI’s SecureBoot: the what, why, how of it all. I want to speak to developers, as large a group as possible, about UEFI / SecureBoot to raise awareness of what is happening at the OEM level.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

I hope to make many new friends. One of my favorite parts of speaking is watching people’s faces and how they react to what I am saying. I love the developer community and hope to find more ways to support them.

Q: What advantages does UEFI have for end users compared to the old BIOS?

The BIOS was more than 20 years old. UEFI has a better user interface, modern code base that can grow as new features are implemented, and of course, better security, many much-needed changes. I’ll cover all of them in better depth in my presentation. UEFI is great; it’s that teeny bit of code called SecureBoot that’s the problem.

Q: With Microsoft requiring OEMs to enable its UEFI SecureBoot implementation on any computer with the Windows 8 logo, how will this affect Linux users?

It used to be that you could buy a laptop, wipe it and install your favorite distro. Now, all laptops and desktops manufactured after August 2012 have SecureBoot enabled. I’ll be covering how to disable it in my presentation.

Q: What can OEMs do to create “Linux-friendly” computers in an UEFI world?

There are many things OEMs can do to keep the gates open for current and future users. I will give a glimpse into A Day in the Life of an OEM as we push to keep code open and accessible. There are so many things we do, not just preloading a distro; it is so much more than that. A lot of responsibility rests with OEMs to keep the gates open.

Q: What do you think of the different strategies to cope with Secure Boot chosen by various Linux distributions?

It’s a horrible choice for the distros and I’m sure many leaders have had many sleepless nights worrying about these choices and the consequences.

Q: Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

This will be my first time attending FOSDEM in person. I am thrilled to be attending.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License

This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.